Stay Connected

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pampering the overnight guest

My father-in-law is coming to stay with us for a week! The five of us are all excited to have him come. My husband did some cleaning and repainting of trim in the bathroom, re-caulked the tub and generally got the bathroom looking all spiffy (does anyone say spiffy any more?).

My two daughters and I have been cleaning and tidying the guest room. We just want to make his time in our home enjoyable.

Hosting guests means making their stay as pleasant as possible. Guests often feel shy about asking for things, so I like to think through what their needs might be, and just provide these outright.

Among the list of things that I've thought of, so far, to make a guest's stay a pleasant one, include:

  • bedside lamp, for reading
  • a selection of interesting books/magazines to read (since we don't have any magazines that Dad would enjoy, I went by the library and picked up a couple)
  • a tray with a drinking glass, (carafe of filtered water, optional; this is one of the occasions where having a supply of bottled water is a nice touch, but I also feel a carafe is good too)
  • guests' personal set of towels; (if they'll be sharing the bathroom with family, I think it's nice to provide the towels in the guests' room, in a nice stack, so they'll know which towels are for them to use)
  • paper and pen, also nice -- a crossword puzzle or two, you can download from the Internet
  • space in drawers and closet, as well as a place to put their bags
  • a sweet treat  (I stopped by See's and bought a small 4-piece box for Dad, hope he likes what I chose!)
  • optional, a computer for their use, with any passwords to log in, as necessary, written on a card
  • if they'll have a car, and will go exploring on their own, a road map of the area is handy
  • in the kitchen, family or living room, it's nice to put out something to snack on, like a bowl of fruit, or nuts in the shell and a nutcracker (I went with fruit for a basket on the kitchen counter)
  • if you have a programmable coffee maker, use it; set a few clean mugs, and sugar bowl and spoon next to the coffee maker. If your guests rise early, they can help themselves.
  • if your family likes puzzles, having a puzzle set out on a game table, and partially begun will provide some occupation for those moments when the host/hostess is occupied, as well as provide a way for guests to interact with the children of the household. (We are puzzle afficionados here, so will definitely get one started.)
  • speaking of regular work, most people like to lend a hand. So I try to think ahead of chores they could do -- simple things, like setting the table, or pouring milk for the kids.

These items are free or have minimal cost. It's very inexpensive to have a generous spirit. It just takes thought and a bit of planning.

Our guest room is furnished with a motley collection of pieces. But after a thorough cleaning it looks decent enough. We scavenged a bedside lamp from another room in the house. I keep a couple of bed pillow that are "hands off!" to the rest of the family. We always seem to have plenty of pillows, but not many that are in like-new condition, for some odd reason. (Pillows are just not something that I think to buy regularly.)

We love having people stay with us. Guests brighten the family landscape, if only for a few days. What are some special touches you like to provide for your guests? Do you have a special breakfast menu you like to prepare? Or special treat you reserve just for when company is coming?


  1. On the list of things that I forgot:
    a box of tissues and some hangers

  2. My grandparents always put out puzzles when we came to visit. Sometimes they even had 3D puzzles, which were especially cool and challenging!

    1. Hi Alicia,
      That sounds like you had a lot of fun at your grandparents! Yeah, the 3D ones are a challenge, not just finding the right pieces, but getting it all to stand up!
      Thanks for the comment!

  3. Since having kids, our "guest room" is our pull-out couch!

    Your list is a great one. I try to put out lots of blankets. I stayed over at a friend's house once and froze.

    We try to have a few extra-special meals and desserts.

  4. Hi Kris,
    Our guest room is actually the study room for my daughters, so we had a ton of papers, pencils, books, etc to clean up! (And the closet is the all-purpose storage area for the house. Me thinks it needs de-cluttering!)
    Perfect timing on your comment. It just reminded me to get out an extra blanket. That's happened to me, too. Brrrrr
    Thanks for commenting!


Thank you for joining the discussion today. Here at creative savv, we strive to maintain a respectful community centered around frugal living. Creative savv would like to continue to be a welcoming and safe place for discussion, and as such reserves the right to remove comments that are inappropriate for the conversation.


Be a voice that helps someone else on their frugal living journey

Are you interested in writing for creative savv?
What's your frugal story?

Do you have a favorite frugal recipe, special insight, DIY project, or tips that could make frugal living more do-able for someone else?

Creative savv is seeking new voices.


share this post